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Stop An Application From Running Automatically At Startup In Windows 7 / Vista

We covered a way to manage startup programs easily so that it  can increase system performance here almost 2 weeks back. Today we will explain another method to stop startup programs through Windows Defender that is installed by default in Windows Vista.

If your computer seems to be starting up slow, it is most likely because of startup programs. These are programs, often unnecessary, that boot up automatically when the computer does. New computers are notorious for having this problems as vendors reduce the price of their computers by making deals with software providers to preinstall their programs. These programs are often worthless, and are usually trials and not even the full program and such programs are normally referred to as bloatware. This said, below is an outline of ways to remove these unnecessary start up programs from starting up automatically. This method also works in Windows XP.

Open Windows Defender by clicking the Start orb button > All Programs > Windows Defender.

Note: Windows Defender will be disabled if you have installed Microsoft Security Essentials. In this case you need will need to type msconfig in the Start Search, hit Enter, and then navigate to startup tab.


Click the Tools button, and then click Software Explorer.

software explorer

In the Category box, select Startup Programs.


Select the program that you want to prevent from running, and then click Disable.


Click Yes to confirm that you want to stop that program from running.

Alternative Solution

Type msconfig in the Run command

run Select the Startup tab and uncheck the program whichever you want not to start up with Windows and click Apply.


By unchecking or disabling the unnecessary programs to load at start up decreases considerable amount of time for Windows to load.

Editor’s note: I argued in the last post that Windows Defender method is not very effective for me, therefore I disable my startup programs by going to MsConfig. What do you think? Is the Windows Defender method working for you just fine? Do let us know which method you use.

Leave a comment

  • Asad – there is a typo on the title. I guess it is “How” instead of “Hot”.

  • @Askar

    Thanks for letting us know eagle eye 😉

    Typo Corrected.

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  • Mosh

    Windows 7 doesn't have “software explorer”…

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  • thanks!

    yea windows 7 def. doesnt have the “software explorer” tab under windows defender tools, but the run/msconfig worked. hopefully itll make my startup more efficient

  • Danny mcse

    windows 7 dont have software explorer but the msconfig works great..

  • What everyone else said…but the msconfig worked perfectly. Thank you so much! This has been the only useful article I have read in my attempts to discontinue programs with windows 7.

  • Sanmeet

    windows 7 def. doesnt have the “software explorer” tab under windows defender tools,but run software helped me out 🙂

  • lorenz

    Thanks a lot..really helps

  • I used msconfig, that works great. I have a different anti-virus, so Defender is not active and I really do not want to activate it, I was not a fan of it on Vista. 😀 So, I agree with you, msconfig works great. D: